Little Man Ice Cream Company’s Commitment
to Black Lives Matter


To understand Little Man Ice Cream Company’s commitment to Black Lives Matter and furthering his team’s education and action plans, read owner and founder Paul Tamburello’s message to his team. 

Dear Little Man Family,

This is a historic moment in time where we as a country are again being called out of convenient complacency and chosen ignorance into action. This is the same cry that has been echoed for years and yet this moment feels different. It’s a cry that requires each of us to look deep within to examine all of the ways we consciously and subconsciously support systemic behaviors or practices that perpetuate racism and marginalize black lives.

Since the horrific death of George Floyd, I have taken time to listen and reflect on the words from the Floyd family and the voices of  black leadership and the protesters at the rallies I have attended. I have struggled with rushing to a simple solution for a very complex problem. Professor John Powell says race is “a little bit like gravity— experienced by all, understood by the few.” This race issue is deeply underscored by the death of George Floyd and so many before him that continue to break the hearts and spirits of us all. These times demand our very best. These powerful voices have helped me to form an intentional response for me personally and for us as a company.  I, like you, want to work with people who are engaged and care about what is happening. I’m sure you expect the same of the company you work for and its leadership. I have taken great pride in the actions so many of you have exhibited through your peaceful protesting and outpouring of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Your generation is showing a force of leadership that can and will change the world.  

Our Little Man Ice Cream Family has always and will always continue to stand in solidarity with the most marginalized in our community and specifically today we stand with our brothers and sisters in the black community. We are committed to understanding and exploring the roots of systemic racism and to work together to dismantle the structures that allow it to continue.

As our valued team members, we see you and we are listening to you. Our mission is to continue the work of building young leaders from all walks of life. We’ve always welcomed diversity in our work family, however, we still know we can do better. We are refocusing our efforts in our hiring practices to ensure that we intentionally broaden our search to underserved communities in order to offer opportunities to all who wish to be a part of our brand.

We as a company have worked since our inception in 2008 assisting communities of color locally and around the world through our Scoop for Scoop program. This work has been largely focused on medical aid and nutritional support and not necessarily understanding the reasons that necessitate this care. While we will continue to provide this vital aid, it is incumbent upon us to add a deeper layer of work to understand the underlying systems that create the need in the first place. We will seek out and support those leaders working to change the systems in their own communities and countries.

Additionally, many of you have suggested that we use our Scoop for Scoop philanthropic program now to donate to local organizations like Black Lives Matter 5280, The Center for Black Equity, NAACP and Chinook that are leading the urgent efforts for eradicating systemic racism. We look forward to exploring other team suggestions of organizations and leaders that are making a difference in our world, and to incorporate those into company-wide actions that we can participate with through education and volunteerism, as well as fundraising. Our mission is to ensure that Black Lives Matter.

First a few thoughts on the use of the word Matter….

I have long struggled with the word matter as it relates to black people. It seems like such a low threshold of acknowledgment for a community that has given so much. I struggle to understand the difficulty some people have with even saying “Black Lives Matters.” No one is saying they are the only lives that matter, but simply that they DO Matter! 

I am learning that Matter means everything to people who were told for 250 years that they were not human, but were instead animals to be bought and sold like cattle; told that their only purpose in this world was to serve others; and, when the time came through age, injury or rebellion they were told they no longer served their purpose and were disposed of as if they didn’t Matter; that’s why Matter means everything! 

Matter?  When the HOPE of finally being seen and truly being free is again stripped away for the next 150 years with a set of laws and politely accepted social norms established by the very system and people offering freedom, it only underscores ongoing inequality and racism. That is why being seen and heard NOW…MATTERS!

For 400 years people of African origin have been described by Dr. Cornel West as “the leaven in the loaf of democracy.” Through it all, despite having a knee constantly on their neck, black people have “taught America how to love.” Today that love is being profoundly expressed again by protesters putting their health on the line and choosing to demonstrate during this global pandemic. It is now time to begin the restorative work of love in order to earn the right to say more than just “You Matter,” but that you are my brothers and sisters. Please join me with humility, integrity, and respect to create one loud, resolute voice that speaks the truth that Black Lives Matter! 

We are working on a program to open the eyes, ears, and hearts of all in our family in order to understand systemic racism. We will start with education and deep contemplation in order to create meaningful and lasting actions.

Here are the beginning steps that I believe will lead us to a more equitable future: 

There is a large library of resources out there. Here are two book recommendations;

“The Half Has Never Been Told”  by Edward Baptist

“Where Do We Go From Here”  by Martin Luther King

We will host a series of small group discussions in our Social Scoop (the former Board Life space) reflecting on both of these books.

Speaker Series:
We are working with several experts in the field of Racism in America and intend on hosting three speakers over the next several months.  

YouTube University
Here are just a few videos that have inspired me. I encourage you to watch these and share suggestions of the voices that have inspired you to take action.–4WE 

Resource Sharing:
We will create a central location for everyone to share resources of the voices you are listening to such as books, podcasts, Instagram and TikTok voices, etc.  

We will host an all-staff company retreat to spend a day reflecting on what we have learned and to put together a personal and company Action Plan.  

Action Plan:
On-going monitoring of our Action Plan meetings and conversations.

As always, I invite your feedback and your most difficult questions and am open to learning from you and with you as we move forward together.

This moment requires our best Little Man Ice Cream RICE (REAL, IGNITE, COLLABORATE, EXCITE) response and I feel so blessed to be on the journey with you as my family. Let’s make it happen, not just Matter! 

Much Love, 

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible,” Maya Angelou